Agri Business

Kerala farmers plan conclave to raise pricing issue

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on April 12, 2018

The measures by the government, if implemented properly, would improve the income levels in rural India   -  THE HINDU

It seems the reverberations of the Kissan Long March that shook the country’s conscience seems to be spreading. Taking a cue from the farmers rally in Mumbai, a similar move is taking shape under Kerala Farmers Federation (KeFF).

Joshy Joseph Maniparambil, general secretary, KeFF told BusinessLine that the federation is organising a farmers conclave in Kochi on April 18 to raise various demands including fixation of minimum support price for all the farm produce or sustainable pricing not withstanding treaties entered into at various government levels. Around 3,000 delegates from 14 districts across Kerala along with other farmer organisations from other states are expected to participate in the event.

Koraput Farmers Association (Odisha), Federation of All India Farmers Association (Andhra Pradesh), Young Farmers Association (Punjab), Karnataka Rubber Producers Association, Consortioum of Pepper Association (Karnataka), Association of Planters of Kerala, Upasi, Banana Growers Association, Dindigul, Kanyakumari District Rubber Small Growers Assocation, Cardamom Growers Association, Cumbum are some of the organisations attending the event.

He claimed that the formation of the consortium of pepper growers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is KeFF's first step in the unification of farmers, which facilitated the government to announce a minimum import price for pepper at ₹500. According to him, the current price level of Rs380/kg is a boon to pepper farmers compared to the global price of ₹280/kg.

He also emphasised the need for educating farmers on trade agreements and lobby for conditions that enable local enhancements and oppose, if necessary clauses and conditions which are detrimental to farmers.

KeFF had held 35 meetings in the last one year with various farmer organisations and local groups to form an alliance to fight eviction attempts by government agencies and departments. The federation also raised a charter of demands that included writing off farmers debt; implementation of fair value for agriculture produces as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission; introduction of farmers insurance along with crop insurance; correction of transnational agreement that affect the rubber, pepper, cardamom etc.

Published on April 12, 2018

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